Several thousand left- and right-wing people took to the streets of Chemnitz in eastern Grammy Monday night, in response to an arrest by police of a Syrian man, 23, and an Iraqi, 22, on suspicion of stabbing to death a 35-year-old German a carpenter early Sunday morning.
Two other men, ages 33 and 38, were hospitalized with severe injuries, according to police.
In the rightwing riots that followed the police report on Sunday, protesters used bottles to attack foreigners. Angela Merkel’s spokesman condemned the violent protests, saying, “Such riotous assemblies, the hunting down of people who appear to be from different backgrounds or the attempt to spread hate in the streets, these have no place in our country.”
But Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) lawmaker Markus Frohnmaier ignored the above message, tweeting, “If the state can no longer protect the citizen, then people will go on the streets and protect themselves.”
“Today it’s a citizen’s duty to stop the lethal ‘knife migration’!” Frohnmaier wrote, “It could have targeted your father, son or brother!”
Almost a quarter of Chemnitz’s residents have voted AfD in the last election.
A rightwing group called Kaotic Chemnitz called on its supporters to show “who is in charge,” as protesters on Sunday were chanting “We are the people!” and “This is our city!”
The rightwing movement Pegida called for a new rally Monday afternoon, when heavy police presence kept the two sides apart, insulting each other under Chemnitz’s Karl Marx monument, a reminder of years past. But by 9 PM when the demonstrators began to move at each other, six people were injured from fireworks and rocks members of each camp were throwing at one another.
Police eventually reported Tuesday morning that the protests subsided and “everything was quiet during the night.”